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Located in a stretch of Boat Quay that’s crammed with restaurants, Kinara would have been easy to miss—if not for the large swing (the jhoola) positioned at the entrance. This charming, old-world Indian décor extends to the interior, with little nooks in the walls, tealights and exotic-looking cutlery and furniture, including sturdily-built chairs that caused some distress to our backs. Dim lighting and the occasional statue made us feel like we were in some part of India. The earnest, polite wait staff dressed in long robes were quite helpful in assisting us with our order. We decided on half a raan e dum Kinara--a reddish, mildly spicy leg of lamb with aromatic herbs and oriental spices. The level of spice in this dish was manageable and the lamb was quite tender, but a bit dry. We asked the staff for some gravy to moisten it and they obligingly provided us with delicious vegetable gravy which made a world of difference. The naan basket we ordered was chockfull of plain, butter, garlic and Kashmiri naans—filling and full of tasty accompaniments. The milk-and-nut yogurty drink, the thandai, was not really our thing as it was slightly sour in a throat-chaffing way; while the kulfi, a pistachio-flavored ice cream comprising milk and dry fruits, gave a sweet ending to a pleasant meal. This is a good place to try if you’re up for something unconventional.
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